Yoga instructor Raasti Said Diwan took to Instagram yesterday to criticize a media channel that had refused to film her yoga class segment live because of PEMRA being again pregnant women depicted on screen. In the caption, Raasti shared that the media channel had initially reached out to her to feature her in a segment for a morning show, and she had been happy to agree to it for the exposure. However, when she sat down with the rest of the family to watch the episode on Monday when her segment would have been aired, she saw that her class had been cut out because “they said PEMRA would have issues with showcasing a pregnant lady, even if she were wearing loose clothing”
“A week or so ago a prominent media channel reached out to feature me in the studio as part of a segment in their morning show. In my 7th month, I wanted to keep momentum going with the studio, was happy for the exposure, agreed to be on the show, and filmed the segment. I was informed it would go on air Monday. Monday came and my family and I kept the stream on through the show, the show passed and my segment didn’t play. When I asked the channel why, they said PEMRA would have issues with showcasing a pregnant lady, even if she were wearing loose clothing….. What the actual fuck?”
How is it still acceptable for our news channels to continue making shows where things like domestic violence or cousin marriages are normalized and yet, a pregnant woman is where the line is drawn? Raasti pointed out how these rulings have less to do with morality, and more with how our society loves policing women’s bodies and hates the idea of an independent woman making her own life choices and refusing to remain hidden in her house after her marriage.
“From ‘susraali mahol’, to the lack of mobility we’ve faced all our lives, to parents regulating our behaviour with ‘log Kya kahein ge,’ to labels as ‘too feminist’ or ‘has an issue with everything’ or ‘it’s just like that for women’ when we speak out, to ensuring that true feminism remains on the fringes of mainstream society, to PEMRA regulating visuals of pregnancy – the system is stacked against us, and a haha hehe hoohoo doesn’t get us anywhere.”
Most importantly, pregnancy is not a disease and pregnant women do not deserve to hide away in their homes because of the shape of their bodies. Raasti reminded everyone that pregnancy is a super power that women are able to do while carrying out multiple other activities, and its a shame that our media still considers it as a taboo and not something we encourage women to embrace
“Creating and birthing a child is the most powerful thing a human can do, and women do it repeatedly and casually, while maintaining careers, while caring for other children. It’s a superpower that our media seems to be careful not to showcase.”
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